Murder of John Lennon

Coordinates: 40°46′35.74″N 73°58′35.44″W / 40.7765944°N 73.9765111°W

Murder of John Lennon
Police artist image of murder of John Lennon
Police artist sketch of the murder
LocationThe Dakota, New York City, New York
Date8 December 1980
22:50 (US Eastern time (UTC−05:00))
TargetJohn Lennon
Attack type
WeaponCharter Arms Undercover .38 Special revolver
DeathsJohn Lennon
PerpetratorMark David Chapman
MotiveFrustrations with Lennon's lifestyle and "more popular than Jesus" remark plus idolatry of Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye

On the evening of 8 December 1980, the English musician John Lennon, formerly of the Beatles, was shot and killed in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York City. The perpetrator was Mark David Chapman, a recently unemployed resident of Hawaii who was incensed by Lennon's lifestyle and public statements, especially his decade-old songs "Imagine" and "God" and his much-publicized 1966 remark about the Beatles being "more popular than Jesus". Weeks earlier, Lennon released his first album since 1975, Double Fantasy, which had marked a comeback for the musician.

Chapman planned the killing over the course of several months and arrived in New York City two days prior. He began waiting for Lennon at the Dakota on the morning of 8 December. During the afternoon, he met Lennon, who signed his copy of Double Fantasy before leaving for a recording session at Record Plant Studio. Around 10:50 p.m., Lennon returned with his wife Yoko Ono. From the street behind them, Chapman fired five hollow-point bullets from a .38 special revolver, four of which hit Lennon in the back and shoulder, puncturing his left lung and left subclavian artery. Chapman remained at the scene and was promptly arrested. Lennon was rushed in a police cruiser to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

A worldwide outpouring of grief ensued on an unprecedented scale. The first media report of Lennon's death to a US national audience was announced by sportscaster Howard Cosell, on ABC's Monday Night Football. Crowds gathered at Roosevelt Hospital and in front of the Dakota, and at least three Beatles fans committed suicide. The event also inspired songs, films, physical memorials, annual gatherings, and other commemorations. The 2016 biographical film The Lennon Report focuses on the hospital staff who tried to resuscitate Lennon, while two other films centre on Chapman and the murder: The Killing of John Lennon (2006) and Chapter 27 (2007).

Lennon was cremated at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York on 12 December; the ashes were given to Ono, who chose not to hold a funeral for him. Chapman pleaded guilty to the murder and was given a reduced sentence of 20-years-to-life imprisonment. He has been denied parole 10 times since becoming eligible in 2000.

Events preceding the murder

8 December 1980

Annie Leibovitz Lennon Ono December 1980
Annie Leibovitz's portrait of Lennon and Ono, taken on the day of the killing

Photographer Annie Leibovitz went to the Lennons' apartment to do a photo shoot for Rolling Stone magazine.[1] Leibovitz promised Lennon that a photo with Ono would make the front cover of the magazine, even though she initially tried to get a picture with Lennon by himself.[2] Leibovitz said, "Nobody wanted [Ono] on the cover".[3] Lennon insisted that both he and his wife be on the cover, and after taking the pictures, Leibovitz left their apartment at 3:30.[1] After the photo shoot, Lennon gave what would be his last interview, to San Francisco DJ Dave Sholin, for a music show to be broadcast on the RKO Radio Network.[4] At 5:40, Lennon and Ono, delayed by a late limousine, left their apartment to mix the song "Walking on Thin Ice" (an Ono song featuring Lennon on lead guitar) at the Record Plant Studio.[5]

Mark David Chapman

The Dakota, Lennon's residence and the location of the killing

At approximately 5:00 p.m., Lennon and Ono were walking to a limo (shared with the RKO Radio crew) when they were approached by Mark David Chapman, who was seeking an autograph. It was common for fans to wait outside the Dakota to meet Lennon and ask for his autograph.[6] Chapman, a 25-year-old security guard from Honolulu, Hawaii, had previously travelled to New York to murder Lennon in October (before the release of Double Fantasy), but had changed his mind and returned home.[7] Chapman silently handed Lennon a copy of Double Fantasy, and Lennon obliged with an autograph.[8] After signing the album, Lennon asked, "Is this all you want?" Chapman smiled and nodded in agreement. Lennon fan Paul Goresh (1959–2018) took a photo of the encounter.[9] Chapman had been waiting for Lennon outside the Dakota since mid-morning and had even approached the Lennons' five-year-old son, Sean, who was with the family nanny, Helen Seaman, when they returned home in the afternoon. According to Chapman, he briefly touched the boy's hand.[10]

The Lennons spent several hours at the Record Plant studio before returning to the Dakota at approximately 10:50 p.m.[1] Lennon had decided against dining out so he could be home in time to say goodnight to his son, before going to the Stage Deli restaurant with Ono.[1] Lennon liked to oblige, with autographs or pictures, any fans who had been waiting for long periods of time to meet him, and said during a 6 December 1980 interview with BBC Radio's Andy Peebles: "People come and ask for autographs, or say 'Hi', but they don't bug you."[1] The Lennons exited their limousine on 72nd Street instead of driving into the more secure courtyard of the Dakota.[11]


1 West 72nd Street (The Dakota) entrance by David Shankbone
The entrance to the Dakota building where Lennon was shot

The Dakota doorman Jose Perdomo and a nearby taxi driver saw Chapman standing in the shadows by the archway.[12] As Lennon passed by, he glanced briefly at Chapman and nodded slightly, appearing to recognize him from earlier.[13] Seconds later, Chapman took aim at the center of Lennon's back and fired five hollow-point bullets at him from a Charter Arms .38 Special revolver, in rapid succession, from a distance of about nine or ten feet (about 3 m).[14]

Based on statements made that night by NYPD Chief of Detectives James Sullivan, numerous radio, television, and newspaper reports claimed at the time that, before firing, Chapman called out, "Mr. Lennon", and dropped into a combat stance.[15] Later court hearings and witness interviews did not include either "Mr. Lennon" or the "combat stance" description. Chapman has said he does not remember calling out to Lennon before he fired,[16][17][18] and that Lennon did not turn around.[19] He claimed to have taken a "combat stance" in a 1992 interview with Barbara Walters.[20]

Dakota Apartments Entryway
Side view of Dakota entryway showing the step Lennon climbed before he collapsed in the lobby

The first bullet missed, passing over Lennon's head and hitting a window of the Dakota building. The next two bullets struck Lennon in the left side of his back, and the other two penetrated his left shoulder. Lennon, bleeding profusely from external wounds and from his mouth, staggered up five steps to the security/reception area where he said, "I'm shot, I'm shot". He then fell to the floor, scattering cassettes that he had been carrying. Perdomo ran inside and told concierge worker Jay Hastings that the attacker had dropped his gun on the sidewalk. Hastings first started to make a tourniquet, but upon ripping open Lennon's blood-stained shirt and realizing the severity of the musician's multiple injuries, he covered Lennon's chest with his uniform jacket, removed his blood-covered glasses, and summoned the police.[1]

Chapman then removed his coat and hat in preparation for the arrival of police—to show he was not carrying any concealed weapons—and remained standing on West 72nd Street.[21] Underneath his coat, he wore a promotional t-shirt for the musician Todd Rundgren's album Hermit of Mink Hollow.[22] Perdomo shouted at Chapman, "Do you know what you've done?", to which Chapman calmly replied, "I just shot John Lennon."[21]

Officers Steven Spiro and Peter Cullen were the first policemen to arrive at the scene; they were at 72nd Street and Broadway when they heard a report of shots fired at the Dakota. The officers arrived around two minutes later and found Chapman standing very calmly on West 72nd Street. They reported that Chapman had dropped the revolver to the ground and was holding a paperback book, J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. Later, he claimed, "If you were able to view the actual copy of The Catcher in the Rye that was taken from me on the night of Dec. 8, you would find in it the handwritten words, 'This is my statement.'"[23] They immediately put Chapman in handcuffs and placed him in the back seat of their squad car. Chapman made no attempt to flee or resist arrest.[23]

Officer Herb Frauenberger and his partner Tony Palma were the second team, arriving a few minutes later. They found Lennon lying face down on the floor of the reception area, blood pouring from his mouth and his clothing already soaked with blood, with Hastings attending to him.[24] Realizing the extent of Lennon's injuries, the policemen decided not to wait for an ambulance and immediately carried Lennon into their squad car. He was rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Officer James Moran said they placed Lennon in the back seat.[25]

Reportedly, Moran asked, "Are you John Lennon?" to which Lennon nodded and replied, "Yes."[26] According to another account by officer Bill Gamble, Lennon nodded slightly and tried to speak, but could only manage to make a gurgling sound, and lost consciousness shortly thereafter.[27]

Resuscitation attempt

Lukes Amst W113 jeh
Roosevelt Hospital pictured in 2009

A few minutes before 11:00PM, Moran arrived with Lennon in his squad car. Moran was carrying Lennon on his back and onto a gurney, demanding a doctor for a multiple gunshot wound victim. When Lennon was brought in, he was not breathing, and had no pulse. Three doctors, a nurse, and two or three other medical attendants worked on Lennon for ten to twenty minutes in an attempt to resuscitate him. As a last resort, the doctors cut open Lennon's chest and attempted manual heart massage to restore circulation, but they quickly discovered that the damage to the blood vessels above and around Lennon's heart from the multiple bullet wounds was too great.[28]

Two of the four bullets that struck Lennon's back passed completely through his body and out of his chest. One bullet hit and became lodged in his upper left arm, while the fourth lodged itself in his aorta beside his heart. Nearly all of them would have been fatal by themselves, because each bullet had ruptured vital arteries around the heart. Lennon had been shot four times at close range with hollow-point bullets and his affected organs—particularly his left lung and major blood vessels above his heart—were virtually destroyed upon impact.[29]

Information regarding who operated on and attempted to resuscitate Lennon has varied. Many reports credit Stephan Lynn, the head of the Emergency Department at Roosevelt Hospital, with performing Lennon's surgery. In 2005, Lynn recalled being the one massaging Lennon's heart and attempting to resuscitate him for 20 minutes, that two other doctors were present, and that the three of them together declared Lennon's death.[28] Conversely in 1990, Richard Marks, an emergency room surgeon at Roosevelt Hospital, stated he operated on Lennon, administered a "massive" blood transfusion, and provided heart massage to no avail. "When I realized he wasn't going to make it," said Marks, "I just sewed him back up. I felt helpless."[30] In 2015, surgeon David Halleran disputed the accounts of both Marks and Lynn, stating that the two doctors "didn't do anything." Halleran also stated that he did not realize who he was operating on initially, and that Lynn only came to assist him when he heard that it was Lennon. At the time, Halleran was a third-year general surgery resident at Roosevelt Hospital.[31][32]

Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:15 p.m.,[33] but the time of 11:07 p.m. has also been reported.[34] The surgeons noted—as did other witnesses—that a Beatles song ("All My Loving") came over the hospital's sound system at the moment Lennon was pronounced dead.[35] His body was then taken to the city morgue at 520 First Avenue for an autopsy. The cause of death was reported on his death certificate as "hypovolemic shock, caused by the loss of more than 80% of blood volume due to multiple through-and-through gunshot wounds to the left shoulder and left chest resulting in damage to the left lung, the left subclavian artery, the aorta and aortic arch".[36] According to the report, even with prompt medical treatment, no person could have lived for more than a few minutes with such multiple bullet injuries to all of the major arteries and veins around the heart.[36]

Lynn informed Ono of her husband's death. According to Lynn, Ono started sobbing and said, "Oh no, no, no, no ... tell me it's not true!" He said that Ono then lay down and began hitting her head against the floor, but calmed down when a nurse gave Lennon's wedding ring to her.[37] His account is disputed by two of the nurses who were there.[38] In a 2015 interview, Ono denied hitting her head on a concrete floor and stated that her chief concern at the time was to remain calm and take care of her son Sean.[39] She was led away from Roosevelt Hospital by a policeman and Geffen Records' president, David Geffen.[40]


Monday Night Football

Howard cosell 1975
Howard Cosell, seen here in an earlier photograph, broke the news of Lennon's death on ABC's Monday Night Football

Ono asked the hospital not to report to the media that her husband was dead until she had informed their five-year-old son Sean, who was at home. Ono said he was probably watching television and did not want him to learn of his father's death from a TV announcement.[40] Meanwhile, news producer Alan J. Weiss of WABC-TV had been waiting to be treated in the Roosevelt Hospital ER after being injured in a motorcycle accident earlier in the evening. Weiss recalled in a 2013 interview for the CNN series Crimes of the Century that he had seen Lennon being wheeled into the room surrounded by several police officers. After he learned what happened, Weiss called back to the station to relay the information. Eventually, word made its way through the chain of command to ABC News president Roone Arledge, who was tasked with finding a way to bring this major development to the viewing audience.[41]

While all of this was happening, Arledge, who was also the president of the network's sports division, was presiding over ABC's telecast of Monday Night Football in his capacity as its executive producer. When Arledge received word of Lennon's death, a game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins was tied with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots were driving toward the potential winning score. As the Patriots tried to put themselves in position for a field goal, Arledge informed Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell of the shooting and suggested that they be the ones to report on the murder. Cosell, who had interviewed Lennon during a Monday Night Football broadcast in 1974, was chosen to do so but was apprehensive of it at first, as he felt the game should take precedence and that it was not their place to break such a big story. Gifford convinced Cosell otherwise, saying that he should not "hang on to (the news)" as the significance of the event was much greater than the finish of the game.

The following exchange begins with thirty seconds left in the fourth quarter, shortly after Gifford and Cosell were informed of what had transpired:[42]

Cosell: ... but [the game]'s suddenly been placed in total perspective for us. I'll finish this; they're in the hurry-up offense.

Gifford: Third down, four. [Chuck] Foreman ... it'll be fourth down. [Matt] Cavanaugh will let it run down for one final attempt; he'll let the seconds tick off to give Miami no opportunity whatsoever. (Whistle blows.) Timeout is called with three seconds remaining; John Smith is on the line. And I don't care what's on the line, Howard, you have got to say what we know in the booth.

Cosell: Yes, we have to say it. Remember this is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City—the most famous, perhaps, of all of the Beatles—shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival. Hard to go back to the game after that newsflash, which, in duty bound, we have to take. Frank?

Gifford: (after a pause) Indeed, it is.[43]

Other announcements

NBC momentarily broke into its East Coast feed of The Best of Carson for its bulletin of Lennon's death before returning in the middle of a comedy piece being performed by Johnny Carson.[44] New York rock station WNEW-FM 102.7 immediately suspended all programming and opened its lines to calls from listeners. Stations throughout the country switched to special programming devoted to Lennon and/or Beatles music.[45]

The following day, Ono issued a statement: "There is no funeral for John. John loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him. Love, Yoko and Sean."[46]


On the day following the murder, George Harrison issued a prepared statement for the press: "After all we went through together, I had and still have great love and respect for him. I am shocked and stunned. To rob a life is the ultimate robbery in life. The perpetual encroachment on other people's space is taken to the limit with the use of a gun. It is an outrage that people can take other people's lives when they obviously haven't got their own lives in order." Harrison later privately told friends, "I just wanted to be in a band. Here we are, 20 years later, and some whack job has shot my mate. I just wanted to play guitar in a band."[47]

Paul McCartney was leaving an Oxford Street recording studio when reporters asked him for his reaction; he responded, "Drag, isn't it?". When publicised, the response was widely criticised, and even McCartney himself regretted the seemingly callous remark. McCartney later said that he had intended no disrespect and simply was unable to articulate his feelings, given the shock and sadness he felt over Lennon's murder.[48]

Lennon's death triggered an outpouring of grief around the world on an unprecedented scale.[49] His remains were cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York; no funeral was held.[50] Ono sent word to the chanting crowd outside the Dakota that their singing had kept her awake; she asked that they re-convene at the Central Park Bandshell the following Sunday for ten minutes of silent prayer.[51] On 14 December 1980, millions of people around the world responded to Ono's request to pause for ten minutes of silence to remember Lennon.[52] Thirty thousand gathered in Lennon's hometown of Liverpool, England, and the largest group—over 225,000—converged on Central Park, close to the scene of the shooting.[52] For those ten minutes, every radio station in New York City went off the air.[53]

At least three Beatles fans committed suicide after the murder,[54] leading Ono to make a public appeal asking mourners not to give in to despair.[55] On 18 January 1981, a full-page open letter from Ono appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Titled "In Gratitude", it expressed thanks to the millions of people who mourned John's loss and wanted to know how they could commemorate his life and help her and Sean.[56]

Ono released a solo album, Season of Glass, in 1981. The cover of the album is a photograph of Lennon's blood-spattered glasses. That same year she also released "Walking on Thin Ice", the song the Lennons had mixed at the Record Plant less than an hour before he was murdered, as a single.[40] Chapman pleaded guilty in 1981 to murdering Lennon.[57][58][59][23] Under the terms of his guilty plea, he was sentenced to 20-years-to-life and later automatically became eligible for parole in 2000.[60] However, Chapman has been denied parole ten times and remains incarcerated at the Wende Correctional Facility.[61][62]

Jay Hastings, the Dakota doorman who tried to help Lennon, sold the shirt he was wearing that night, stained with Lennon's blood, at auction in 2016. It sold for £31,000.[63]

Memorials and tributes

John Lennon - Prag - 1981
Memorial behind the Iron Curtain: Lennon Wall in Prague, August 1981


Leibovitz's photo of a naked Lennon embracing his wife, taken on the day of the murder, was the cover of Rolling Stone's 22 January 1981 issue, most of which was dedicated to articles, letters and photographs commemorating Lennon's life and death.[64] In 2005, the American Society of Magazine Editors ranked it as the top magazine cover of the last 40 years.[65]


  • Every 8 December, a memorial ceremony is held in front of the Capitol Records building on Vine Street in Hollywood, California. People also light candles in front of Lennon's Hollywood Walk of Fame star, outside the Capitol Building.[66]
  • On 28–30 September 2007, Durness held the John Lennon Northern Lights Festival, which was attended by Lennon's half-sister, Julia Baird, who read from his writings and her own books; and Stanley Parkes, Lennon's Scottish cousin.[67] Parkes said, "Me and Julia [Baird] are going to be going to the old family croft to tell stories". Musicians, painters and poets from across the U.K. performed at the festival.[67][68]
  • As of 2005, Ono still placed a lit candle in the window of Lennon's room in the Dakota every year on 8 December.[69]
  • Every 9 October, Lennon's birthday, through 8 December, the date Lennon was shot, the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland is lit.
    The Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Iceland near Reykjavik (4067485347)
    The Imagine Peace Tower (Icelandic: Friðarsúlan, meaning "the peace column") is a memorial to John Lennon from his widow, Yoko Ono, located on Viðey Island in Kollafjörður Bay near Reykjavík, Iceland.
  • On 24 March 2018, McCartney participated in the March for Our Lives, a protest against gun violence, because of Lennon's killing.[70]
The Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Iceland near Reykjavik (4067485347)
The Imagine Peace Tower (Icelandic: Friðarsúlan, meaning "the peace column") is a memorial to John Lennon from his widow, Yoko Ono, located on Viðey Island in Kollafjörður Bay near Reykjavík, Iceland.


  • David Bowie, who befriended Lennon in the mid-1970s (Lennon co-wrote and performed on Bowie's US #1 hit "Fame" in 1975), performed a tribute to Lennon in the final show of his Serious Moonlight Tour at the Hong Kong Coliseum, on 8 December 1983—the third anniversary of Lennon's death. Bowie announced that the last time he saw Lennon was in Hong Kong, and after announcing, "On this day, December the 8th 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed outside of his New York apartment," he performed Lennon's song, "Imagine".[71]
  • David Gilmour of Pink Floyd wrote and recorded the song "Murder" in response to Lennon's death; the song was released on Gilmour's solo album, About Face (1984).
  • Bellamy Brothers released "Old Hippie"—The song's lyrics reference the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, which took place in August 1969, and the December 1980 shooting death of John Lennon.
  • George Harrison released a tribute song, "All Those Years Ago" (1981), featuring Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney.
  • Elton John, who had recorded the number-one hit "Whatever Gets You thru the Night" with Lennon, teamed up with his lyricist Bernie Taupin and recorded a tribute to Lennon, entitled "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)". It appeared on his album Jump Up! (1982), and peaked at #13 on the US Singles Chart that year.[72] When he performed the song at a sold-out concert in Madison Square Garden in August 1982, he was joined on stage by Ono and Sean.[73]
  • McCartney released his tribute, "Here Today", on his album, Tug of War (1982).
  • Queen, during their Game Tour, performed a cover of Lennon's solo song "Imagine" at concerts after Lennon's death. Queen also performed the song "Life Is Real", from the album Hot Space (1982), in his honour. It was written by singer Freddie Mercury.
  • Roxy Music added a cover version of the song "Jealous Guy" to their set whilst touring in Germany, which they recorded and released in March 1981. The song was their only U.K. #1 hit, topping the charts for two weeks. It features on many Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music collections, though not always in its full-length version.
  • Paul Simon's homage to Lennon, "The Late Great Johnny Ace", initially sings of the rhythm and blues singer Johnny Ace, who is said to have shot himself in 1954, then goes on to reference John Lennon, as well as President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, the year "Beatlemania" started. Simon had actually premiered the song during Simon & Garfunkel's reunion Concert in Central Park in 1981; near the end of the song, a fan ran onto the stage, possibly in response to Simon's mentioning Lennon in the lyrics. The man, saying to Simon, "I have to talk to you", was dragged offstage by Simon's personnel; all of this can be seen in the DVD of the concert. The song also appears on Simon's Hearts and Bones (1983) album.
  • Bob Dylan wrote and recorded the song "Roll On John" on his 2012 album, Tempest.
  • XTC performed "Rain" in Liverpool the night after Lennon's death.[74]

Physical memorials

Strawberry Fields in the Central Park with The Dakota behind
Strawberry Fields with the Dakota in the background
  • In 1985, New York City dedicated an area of Central Park where Lennon had frequently walked, directly across from the Dakota, as Strawberry Fields. In a symbolic show of unity, countries from around the world donated trees, and the city of Naples, Italy, donated the Imagine mosaic centerpiece.[75]
  • On 9 October 2007, Ono dedicated a new memorial called the Imagine Peace Tower, located on the island of Viðey, off the coast of Reykjavík, Iceland. Each year, between 9 October and 8 December, it projects a vertical beam of light high into the sky in Lennon's memory.[76]
  • In 2009, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's New York City annex hosted a special John Lennon exhibit, which included many mementos and personal effects from Lennon's life, as well as the clothes he was wearing when he was murdered, still in the brown paper bag from Roosevelt Hospital.[77]
  • In 2018, Ono created an artwork in John Lennon's memory, titled "Sky", for MTA Arts & Design. The artwork was installed during the renovation of the New York City Subway's 72nd Street station (served by the B and ​C trains), which is located outside the Dakota.[78][79]


Several films on the murder of Lennon have been released, all more than 25 years after the event. These include:

  • The Killing of John Lennon (2007), directed by Andrew Piddington and starring Jonas Ball as Chapman.[80]
  • Chapter 27 (2008), directed by J. P. Schaefer and starring Jared Leto as Chapman and actor Mark Lindsay Chapman as Lennon. Lindsay Chapman had previously been cast (and billed then as "Mark Lindsay") in NBC's John & Yoko: A Love Story (1985), but Yoko Ono demanded the role of Lennon be re-cast after it was revealed that the actor's real surname was Chapman.[81]
  • The Lennon Report (2016), which focuses on attempts by doctors and nurses to save Lennon's life. The reason the film was made was to correct several misconceptions tied to the events. The credits at the end of the film contain eyewitness accounts by those in attendance in the ER.[38]

Conspiracy theories

A number of roundly refuted conspiracy theories have been published, based on CIA and FBI surveillance of Lennon due to his left-wing activism,[82][83] and on the actions of Chapman in the murder or subsequent legal proceedings. Barrister and journalist Fenton Bresler[84] raised the idea in a book published in 1990.[85] Liverpool playwright Ian Carroll, who has staged a drama conveying the theory Chapman was manipulated by a rogue wing of the CIA, suggests he was not so insane he could not manage a long trip from Hawaii to New York shortly prior to the murder.[86] Claims include Chapman was a "Manchurian candidate", including speculation on links to the CIA's Project MKULTRA.[87][88] At least one author has argued forensic evidence proves Chapman did not commit the murder.[89] The 2010 documentary 'The Day John Lennon Died' suggests the doorman at the Dakota was a Cuban exile with links to the CIA and the Bay of Pigs invasion.[90][91]


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Further reading

External links

Chapter 27

Chapter 27 is a 2007 biographical drama film depicting the murder of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman. It was written and directed by Jarrett Schaefer, based on the book Let Me Take You Down by Jack Jones, produced by Robert Salerno, and stars Jared Leto as Chapman. The film takes place in December 1980, and is intended to be an exploration of Chapman's psyche. Its title is a reference to J. D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye, which has 26 chapters, and suggests a continuation of the book.

As an independent production, it was picked up for distribution by Peace Arch Entertainment and premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival where it received polarized reactions from critics. It later went into limited theatrical release in the United States on March 28, 2008. Chapter 27 was cited as one of the most controversial films of 2007. It received the Debut Feature Prize for Schaefer at the Zurich Film Festival, where Leto also won Best Performance for his portrayal of Chapman.The similar film The Killing of John Lennon was released the previous year, produced in the United Kingdom, and dealt more extensively with Chapman's life prior to the shooting than Chapter 27.

City's Burning

"City's Burning" is a song by the American rock band Heart, released in 1982 as the opening track on their sixth studio album Private Audition. It was written by Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Sue Ennis, and produced by the Wilsons, Ennis and Howard Leese. The song reached No. 15 on the US Billboard Rock Albums & Top Tracks chart. A music video was filmed to promote the song."City's Burning" was inspired by the 1980 murder of John Lennon. In a 1985 interview with Bob Andelman, Ann Wilson revealed: "It was a story we made up. A couple – they get the news about John on the radio or TV, and it tells about each of their reactions." The song was later re-recorded for the band's sixteenth studio album, Beautiful Broken, released in 2016.

Edge of Seventeen

"Edge of Seventeen" is a song by American singer and songwriter Stevie Nicks from her debut solo studio album Bella Donna (1981), released as the third single from the album on February 4, 1982. The lyric was written by Nicks to express the grief resulting from the death of her uncle Jonathan and the murder of John Lennon during the same week of December 1980. The song features a distinctive, chugging 16th-note guitar riff and a simple chord structure typical of Nicks' songs. The song's title for the single release was "Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White Winged Dove)".

In the United States, "Edge of Seventeen" just missed out on the top-ten of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number eleven. Despite this, it became one of Nicks' most enduring and recognizable songs and has been covered by many artists, notably American actress and singer Lindsay Lohan on her second studio album A Little More Personal (Raw) (2005). The distinctive riff was sampled by American girl group Destiny's Child in their 2001 hit single "Bootylicious", with Nicks making a cameo appearance in the accompanying music video.

Far Side of Crazy

"Far Side of Crazy" is a song by the new wave group Wall of Voodoo from their album Seven Days in Sammystown. It was released as the album's lead single in late 1985, with an accompanying music video combining black and white and full color footage. The song was also featured in the 1985 movie Head Office.

The lyrics refer to the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. in 1981. The title comes from his poems; "I remain the far side of crazy". Hinckley was obsessed with actress Jodie Foster and believed that the only way to attract her attention was to become famous himself. He was inspired by the murder of John Lennon and the subsequent media attention that his killer, Mark Chapman, received as a result. The song picks a number of lines from the letters that Hinckley sent to Foster both before and after the assassination.

The single failed to chart in all territories except Australia, where it reached #23 in June 1986 and stayed in the Top 100 for 21 weeks.

Friar Park

Friar Park is a 120-room Victorian neo-Gothic mansion in Henley-on-Thames, England, built in 1889. It was formerly owned by eccentric lawyer Sir Frank Crisp and purchased in January 1970 by musician George Harrison. The site covers about 62 acres (25 hectares). Features include caves, grottoes, underground passages, a multitude of garden gnomes, and an Alpine rock garden with a scale model of the Matterhorn.

Jarrett Schaefer

Jarrett Schaefer (born 1979) is an American film director and screenwriter. His feature debut, Chapter 27 (2007), premiered and received substantial media and critical attention at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

Let It Be (musical)

Let It Be is a West End and Broadway concert revue based on the career of English rock band, The Beatles, from 1962 to their breakup in 1970.

List of murdered musicians

Many musicians have been killed during their active career. Some of them have received extensive media attention, including the murder of John Lennon in 1980 and the murders of rappers Tupac and Biggie Smalls, which took place less than one year apart from each other. Others have received less media attention, including the murder of Bryan Harvey, who was killed during the 2006 Richmond spree murders.

Lunatic Fringe (song)

"Lunatic Fringe" is a song by the Canadian rock band Red Rider from their 1981 album, As Far as Siam. Guitarist Tom Cochrane wrote the song after becoming concerned about a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the 1970s, and was also inspired after reading a book about Raoul Wallenberg, who rescued Jews from The Holocaust during World War II. Some sources have incorrectly cited the murder of John Lennon as the song's primary inspiration; Cochrane had already written the song before Lennon was killed, but recorded the song's first demo the evening of the murder. He has stated that his feelings about the event, and how it echoed the theme of his song, galvanized him to release the song as a single despite advice from the record label that the song wasn't commercial enough.The song reached No. 11 on the Rock Radio Airplay Chart in Billboard in September 1981, and was awarded a SOCAN Classic award in 2009 by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada for reaching the 100,000-airplay mark on (Canadian) domestic radio.In 1997, Tom Cochrane re-recorded the track for his album, Songs of a Circling Spirit, which charted on the RPM Top 100 Singles chart for four weeks, peaking at No. 70.The song's widespread influence inspired Cincinnati's rock radio station WEBN to pay homage to it with the station's early slogan "WEBN, The Lunatic Fringe" introduced in 1984. Then in 1988, this slogan was updated to "The Lunatic Fringe Of American FM", which is still in use as of November 2018. The song was used in the 1985 movie Vision Quest about a high school wrestler starring Matthew Modine.

Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman (born May 10, 1955) is an American criminal who murdered John Lennon at the entrance to the Dakota apartment building in New York City on December 8, 1980. He fired five shots at Lennon from a Charter Arms .38 caliber revolver, hitting him four times in the back. For the next few minutes, Chapman remained at the scene reading J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye until he was arrested by police. He planned to cite the novel as his manifesto.

Raised in Decatur, Georgia, Chapman had been a fan of the Beatles, but came to be incensed by Lennon's much-publicized remark about the group being "more popular than Jesus", and especially by the lyrics of Lennon's later songs. He subsequently developed a series of obsessions, including artwork and the music of Todd Rundgren. The Catcher in the Rye took on great personal significance for him, to the extent that he wished to model his life after the novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield. He also contemplated killing other public figures, including Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ronald Reagan. At the time of the murder, he had no prior criminal convictions and had just resigned working as a night security guard in Hawaii. His wife was aware of his plans but she did not inform the police or mental health services.

Following the murder, Chapman's legal team intended to mount an insanity defense that would be based on the testimony of mental health experts who said that he was in a delusional psychotic state. He was more cooperative with the prosecution team, who argued that his symptoms fell short of a schizophrenia diagnosis. As the trial approached, he instructed his lawyers that he wanted to plead guilty based on what he had decided was the will of God. The judge allowed the plea change and concluded that Chapman was sane, sentencing him to a prison term of 20 years to life with a stipulation that mental health treatment would be provided.

Chapman refused all requests for press interviews during his first six years in prison, later saying that he regretted the murder and did not want to give the impression that he killed Lennon for fame and notoriety. He ultimately supplied audio-taped interviews to journalist Jack Jones, who used them to write the investigative book Let Me Take You Down: Inside the Mind of Mark David Chapman in 1992. The biographical films The Killing of John Lennon (2006) and Chapter 27 (2007) center on Chapman and the murder. He became eligible for parole in 2000, which has been denied 10 times.

Mary Therese Friel

Mary Therese Friel (born February 10, 1959) is a beauty queen and business woman from New York who has held the title Miss USA 1979.

Friel, who grew up in Pittsford, New York won the titles Miss New York USA and Miss USA. She was later a model, and opened her own modelling agency in 1987. She currently trains and represents a large number of models, as well as training beauty pageant participants.

Moonlight Shadow

"Moonlight Shadow" is a song written and performed by English multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield, released as a single in May 1983 by Virgin Records, and included in the album Crises of the same year. The vocals were performed by Scottish vocalist Maggie Reilly, who had collaborated with Mike Oldfield since 1980. It is Oldfield's most successful single, reaching number one on a number of charts around Europe.


Onobox is a 1992 comprehensive 6-disc collection of Yoko Ono's work from 1968 to 1985. The discs are grouped by era and theme. Disc one centers around the albums Fly and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, while Disc two features nearly the entirety of Approximately Infinite Universe in a different running order and most of the tracks remixed exclusively for this boxed set. Disc three features the entire Feeling the Space project, which was originally conceived and recorded as a double album before being edited down, while disc six is the previously unreleased 1974 album A Story, which was later reissued separately with an altered track listing, along with the rest of Ono's back catalogue.

Discs four and five center on her relationship with her late husband and musician John Lennon, with "Kiss, Kiss, Kiss" highlighting songs from their duet albums Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey, while "No, No, No" focuses on the albums Yoko released in the aftermath of the murder of John Lennon.

Onobox was complimented by an accompanying one-disc "greatest hits" release, entitled Walking on Thin Ice. While the Rykodisc press release for Onobox declared the collection "not as bad as you might think", it also urged the public to "smash your preconceptions". Which, for the most part, they did, finding the box gave "Yoko Ono the avant- garde heroine her due".

Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced 1981–1982

The following is a list of recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced between October 3, 1981, and May 22, 1982, the seventh season of SNL.

SFX Cassette Magazine

SFX Cassette Magazine was a short-lived British music magazine published in the very early 1980s (not to be confused with SFX magazine, a best-selling science fiction magazine published continuously since 1995). The distinguishing feature of SFX was its format: rather than traditional print media, the magazine was distributed in the form of a one-hour cassette. Magazines were sold as cassettes twist-tied to an 8-1/4" x 11-3/4" cardboard backing. The tag line of each issue: "The Only Music Magazine on C-60."

The format of each issue was similar to a radio show, featuring news and interviews with pop stars (mostly but not exclusively British) and others involved with the music industry; reviews of record releases given by other musicians and artists; previews of upcoming album releases; unsigned band demo recordings; occasional features on culture, fashion and football (soccer); and three or four commercials per issue.

The concept was conceived and developed by Hugh Salmon, then a young account executive at Ogilvy & Mather, and edited by the respected NME journalist, Max Bell. Among notable editorial coups, including Paul McCartney talking for the first time about his feelings of the murder of John Lennon, SFX provided the first opportunity for Jools Holland, keyboard player of Squeeze, and the young Paula Yates, a well-known figure on the music scene then going out with Bob Geldof. They both went on to present the TV programme The Tube.

The publication was short lived, running from November 1981 through the summer of 1982. There were at least 19 known issues published. Taken as a whole, the SFX cassettes capture a narrow slice of music and pop culture as the punk/new wave movement was becoming more mainstream in content and performance.

The Beatles in film

The Beatles appeared in five motion pictures, most of which were very well received. The exception was the (mostly unscripted) television film Magical Mystery Tour which was panned by critics and the public alike. Each of their films had the same name as their associated soundtrack album and a song on that album.

The Fan (1981 film)

The Fan is a 1981 American horror film directed by Edward Bianchi, and starring Lauren Bacall, Michael Biehn, James Garner and Maureen Stapleton. It was written by Priscilla Chapman and John Hartwell, based on a novel of the same name by Bob Randall. The plot follows a famous stage and film actress named Sally Ross (Bacall) who is stalked by a violent, deranged fan (Biehn), who begins killing those around her.

The Killing of America

The Killing of America (Japanese: アメリカン・バイオレンス, Hepburn: Amerikan baiorensu, "American violence") is a 1982 Japanese-American documentary film directed by Sheldon Renan and Leonard Schrader. The film was premiered in New York City in February 1982 and was shown at the 2013 Fantasia Festival.

The Top Ten Club

The Top Ten Club was a music club in Hamburg, Germany owned by Peter Eckhorn. The address in the Hamburg district of St. Pauli was: Reeperbahn 136.

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